Quote of the Day – October 1, 2012
While most of the states with the lowest incomes suffer from weak economies, unemployment was not a significant problem. Only two states were among the worst 10 for unemployment in 2011. In fact, five of the worst-off states had unemployment rates lower than the national rate of 8.9% last year. In Oklahoma, one of the poorest states, unemployment was 6.2%. In the states with the highest median incomes, the results were similarly varied.
According to [Elizabeth] Kneebone [of the Brookings Institution], it is not a surprise that unemployment and income appear unrelated. ”Earnings for middle and lower-wage workers have fallen or stagnated over time,” Kneebone explained. “So you can have a situation where jobs are being created … but the types of jobs matter. If those are jobs that pay low wages, even if you’re working full time, that might not be enough to lift you above the poverty line.”
To identify the states with the highest and lowest median household income, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed state data on income, poverty, and health insurance from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 American Community Survey (ACS).[...] -Excerpted from “America’s Poorest States“, originally published on the 24/7 Wall St. website.